One of the strengths and weaknesses of the Amway and Quixtar businesses is that Independent Business Owners (IBOs) really do have a great deal of independence. It's a strength because, within some guidelines, we have a great deal of latitude about how we approach and build our businesses.
A weakness is that what IBOs do and say ultimately reflects on all Amway and Quixtar IBOs and the Amway Corporation and Quixtar, Inc. IBOs are ultimately responsible for the brand image. We should at all times act as if everything we say and everything we do is being recorded.
Some Amway/Quixtar IBOs are learning that today, since what they said was recorded. In a case going back more than a decade, Proctor & Gamble (P&G), a company which produces many competitor products to Amway, finally prevailed in a defamation case against four (then) Amway distributors in the Yager Organization – Diamond Randy Haugen, Steven E. Brady, Stephen L. Bybee and Ted Randal Walker. For years, there have been rumours spread around the United States that P&G's president had told a television talk show that his company was affiliated with the Church of Satan. The rumours were patently ridiculous (at least to me), however these distributors thought to share the rumour through their voicemail systems.
Not surprisingly, P&G sued Amway and the distributors. The case against Amway was eventually, and correctly in my view, dismissed. Amway does not control what IBOs say. Today however, the case against the distributors culminated in them being found guilty of spreading false rumours, and damages of US$19,25, were awarded to P&G.
The fact these rumours were spread through recorded voice messages does not make what these IBOs did wrong, it just made it easier to prove they did it. We IBOs, myself included, need to always act as if everything we are doing is recorded. Don't gossip. Don't spread rumours. Don't exaggerate. Don't say things that aren't true. Don't claim things you don't know are true. Everything we do reflects on every other IBO and on the corporations and their employees.
UPDATE: Just found a Randy Haugen Website that has a response to the lawsuit. I should clarify my comments above a little – I think what Randy Haugen and his downline did was wrong, and I'm sure in hindsight, even without this case, they agree. We all make mistakes, and when we do we should admit to them. That doesn't mean we shouldn't endeavour not to make the mistakes in the first place!
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